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Missing work due to Bipolar I Anxiety
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Bipolar Disorder is also known as "Manic Depressive Disorder". This forum is for questions and support for people with, or for loved ones of people with Bipolar Disorder. The forum covers topics ranging from Aggressive Behavior, Affect on friends and Family, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Appetite Changes, Chronic Pain, Denial, Depression, Difficulty Concentrating, Euphoria, Guilt, Manic Depression, Medications, Mood Swings, Poor Judgment, and Sleep Disorders

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Missing work due to Bipolar I Anxiety

Hi everyone,

I'm returning to this forum after many months and was hoping in some ways that I wouldn't need to because I had grown stronger and was doing OK. Obviously I am not! I have been taking practically every Monday off since the past several weeks because I am just too anxious and paranoid in the morning to even get out of bed. I have racing thoughts that tell me I don't have much to accomplish anyways (which is partially true since work isn't super busy these days) and I should just make up an excuse to take a sick day. What worries me is I'm fairly new to this team and my manager and co-workers might have recognized this pattern which has pretty much become a habit by now. I don't want to be labeled as the complacent new hire who is lazy and misses work beginning of each work week. I feel terrible doing that and honestly I feel even worse after staying home because i fear i might ultimately lose my job if this continues.
Like today, I don't even know if I have any sick days left, i'll find out tomorrow if hopefully I can make it to work. Mondays always seem to be the worst too for obvious reasons: it's the beginning of the week, I'm in a new relationship and the guy i'm seeing leaves me feeling lonely and sad on Sundays and the idea of seeing him after 5/6 days for 2 days at best is depressing. I take my anti-anxiety sleeping pill at night which helps me get a good night's sleep but for some reason in the morning the paranoia always strikes completely disabling me from thinking logically and mustering the courage like everyone else to get up, get dressed, and just show up to work. The relationship I'm in has only added to my stress level since I don't know where it's heading and I'm constantly afraid the guy is going to break up with me. He hasn't really shown any signs to comfort me either since he told me he doesn't really know where we stand in terms of becoming g/f b/f but he realizes barely 2 months into it we wouldn't have that answer. Today I was able to make an appointment with a new psychologist for myself and i'm really hoping he can help me get back on track, feel more confident and so I stop missing work. Although I'm not too hopeful because I've seen counselors, a psychiatrist, and a psychologist before and was labeled as having 'Treatment Resistive Major Depressive Disorder'. Sometimes I don't know what to do because my family is not even in this country, the only sibling lives on the opposite coast. I've talked to a good friend at work and my ex about this several times but in the end they too get exhausted by listening to the same story and symptoms over and over again. What can they do or say anyways, THEY are NOT the ones going through it and they're busy in their own lives with their priorities. It's become really hard lately because all I want to do over the week is hide under my blanket at home until somehow the week ends and I can be with my guy again and somehow he never leaves me. Not to mention the constant weight loss.....I'm down to 94.5 lbs and slowly withering away. At 5' that would still be normal but until when?? Any answers from anyone who's gone through the same struggles.
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I have ultra rapid (ultridian) treatment resistant (although there are medications that do help somewhat) bipolar disorder. My symptoms haven't gone into remission since switching to ultridian cycling. It is different than major depressive disorder but share some commonality. If you haven't tried the antipsychotic they may be worth a shot, but I assume you already have.

No answers. Just support. Take it one day at a time and go see the psychologist because if you keep missing Monday mornings you will get fired. If there is disability insurance where you work I would check into it. Maybe you could talk your employer into letting you work 3/4 time to account for your Monday mornings. At least for a few months. They know something is up, better to address it.
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Avatar_f_tn
Same here - no answers, just support and the promise that there's always someone here to listen.

I'm alone as far as my bipolar, too, so I know the feeling...

Anxiety is such a beast to control anyway. I hate it...

I'm hopeful your appointment went well this afternoon. Honestly, maybe it's something to bring up with the doc, though... You may need a daily anti-anxiety like klonopin rather than the kind that you just take for immediate results.

Like lindahand, for some reason Abilify (antipsychotic) really toned down my anxiety.

Good luck, and come back when you need to 'talk'. This is the only place I've found where people get where I'm coming from... and I never feel like a drain because people don't have to click :)  
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1154462_tn?1327437979
Thank you for your support. You are so right about this being the only place where people actually understand you and you never feel like you're burdening someone. As I sit in my living room still feeling bad about missing work and the horrible stormy rainy WA weather further depressing my mood, it was uplifting to go over the answers I received.

I am planning to talk to my manager tomorrow about getting on a 9x80 schedule and taking every other Monday off. At least that way I don't have to feel guilty and over-anxious about sitting at home on a Monday knowing everyone else on my team showed up to work. I just don't want to bring up the reality of my illness to him because I was advised by my psychiatrist it's probably not the best thing to do if I can keep it under control. I do take Klonopin to go to bed, it's a life-saver otherwise I'm like a zombie just tossing and turning all night long. I was also on a medical leave of absence from Dec 2009 - early Feb 2010 and my psychiatrist put me on every cocktail of anti psychotics possible including towards the end just recommending an experimental drug called Ketamin NMDA antagonist. I didn't want to try something not even approved by the FDA and completely end up frying my brain.

Truth is I thought after moving back to my condo from my ex husband's house I would be fine esp. since I started dating again. It's almost been the reverse. Every Sunday the guy i'm dating leaves, I tell myself I'll be fine, I'll get up in the morning, have a nice full breakfast and will just go to work. That never materializes since extreme anxiety takes over followed by the message to the boss that I won't be able to make it to work.

My only accomplishment today was getting an appt. with the psychologist this Friday during lunch break. Hopefully with his help I can devise a plan where once again I can be OK by myself and even with my complete lack of interest somehow pull through work like everyone else. I agree with you completely, anxiety is an ugly beast that I try so hard to control but yet it keeps getting in the way of my happiness, my freedom, sanity, everything!

Thanks for being such a dear friend and for your kind words.
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1154462_tn?1327437979
Hello,

Thanks for the support. I'll agree with you that I've been on just about every cocktail of meds possible to cure the anxiety, depression, mania you name it and none of them seemed to work and towards the end my psychiatrist looked at me and my ex husband and his very words were, "so......what's the plan for her?". That's when he deemed me treatment resistive and prescribed an experimental drug.
So last year in Sept with the help of my mother I was able to move back to my condo, separate from my ex, and feel somewhat empowered knowing i was going to start a long and difficult journey ahead of me. with the help of a few good friends followed by a skydiving and bungee jumping experience, I was able to get off all my meds except 0.5 mg Klonopin which I take before sleeping on an as-needed basis.
I was on a medical leave of absence for almost 8 weeks last year getting 60% of my salary. I just don't want to revert back to that, I thought I was doing much better and I don't want to find myself in that awful situation again. When I came back to work i was fortunate enough to have a young manager who had been through depression himself and understood the nature of my illness although I never explicitly told him what I was diagnosed with. That understanding helped me a great deal by allowing to flex my schedule.

Unfortunately, like I mentioned, on this new team I have a new manager who doesn't seem the most caring and concerned about his employees well-being. Also, my remaining peers who are in a way my competition for raise, promotion etc. are well-settled (married with kids) or at least happily married. That only adds to my frustration and worries because I feel i'm the only non-normal person on my team dealing with the lack of interest, bipolar anxiety, loneliness, and the obvious feeling I'm not performing as well as them.

My only hope resides in the psychologist i'm going to start seeing this coming Friday and getting on a 9x80 schedule with every other Monday off so at least I get a long weekend where I don't have to feel guilty over wanting to do nothing and just lazing around on a Monday. Thanks again for your kindness, you have no idea what this community's support means to me.
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Avatar_f_tn
Fingers crossed the dr appt goes well!

So sorry. You've been through a lot - moving out, moving on - that would be adjusting to a whole new world... no wonder you're feeling anxious. Predictability is definitely my friend, and right now you're adjusting to a whole lot of unpredictability!

I wouldn't worry about the co-workers :)  I have a lot of 'happily married' friends by appearance that are the exact opposite once no one's looking. And some of them have kids... Hopefully the new manager is just uncomfortable in his new position and is getting settled and will even out. It sounds like your approach is perfect anyway, you're not asking for any favors, just an adjustment. (I agree with your psych, btw - and my husband is a manager who would definitely agree... don't reveal a diagnosis unless you just have to).

Sending you tons of positive thoughts that the rest of the week goes well, and that you get some answers and help at your appointment! (And that you can get the adjusted schedule - that would be great!).
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